NFIB Jobs Report: Worker Shortages Remain a Top Problem for Small Business Owners

Date: July 07, 2022

Half of owners cannot fill open positions

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 7, 2022)NFIB’s monthly jobs report shows half of small business owners (seasonally adjusted) reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, down one point from May’s 48-year record high. Twenty-three percent of owners said that labor quality was their top business problem, unchanged from May and in second place behind inflation. Eight percent of owners cited labor costs as their top business problem, historically high.

“The labor force participation rate has been slowly rising this year, with more people taking jobs,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “However, the labor shortage continues to be a difficult problem for small businesses.  A few more good months of increased employment might get total employment back to pre-pandemic levels.”

Small business owners’ plans to fill open positions remain elevated, with a seasonally adjusted net 19% planning to create new jobs in the next three months, even though down seven points from May.  Ninety-four percent of those hiring or trying to hire reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Thirty-three percent of owners reported few qualified applicants for their open positions and 27% reported none.

A net 48% of owners (seasonally adjusted) reported raising compensation, down one point from May but only two points below the 48-year record high set in January. A net 28% plan to raise compensation in the next three months, up three points from May. Hopefully this will attract new workers into the labor force.

Forty-two percent of owners have openings for skilled workers (unchanged) and 22% have openings for unskilled labor, down three points. Fifty-eight percent of the construction firms with job openings reported few or no qualified applicants, down three points from May.

Click here to view the entire NFIB jobs report.

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